Written by Andrew Madaras
Photos by Liam Smith and Chris White
There were no complaints in the Dunstable camp after Luton neighbours left Creasey Park with three precious points in their bid to avoid the relegation trapdoor and maintain their SSML Premier division status.
Head Coach Joe Deeney had said in his pre-match interview for DTFCTV that this would be a tough match, and nobody should be in any doubt that Crawley Green would give it everything, and they did just that.
Emboldened by a 4 – 0 victory in mid-week, the visitors were the better team on the day and thoroughly deserved the victory.
Credit to Manager, Paul Blackman who is well-known, and well-respected by many at Creasey Park for masterminding his teams win and their bid for SSML survival. In the Claret’s team were former Dunstable players, Joe Hankins, Marlon Burton, Jake Kissiedu and Kai McArthur. All did well.
Dunstable looked off the pace and out of sorts in the second half and were punished for errors, lapses and failing to heed their Head Coach’s prophetic warnings.
Before the match started the Club awarded the Aaron Bateman Shield to Ellie and Alfie from the Youth Section for being the two players who had shown the greatest amount of courage, individuality and inspiration over the course of the season.
There was also a presentation of a cheque for £500 from Dunstable Downs Rotary Club to Vice-Chair & Club Treasurer, Matt Carrington for the Club’s Community Benefit Society Activities.
The attendance of 321 was the third highest of the season, beaten only by the visits of Leighton Town and Luton Town. The game had been billed as the DTFC Family Day and it was encouraging to see the number of Youth Section Coaches and their players and families enjoying the warm sunshine and “pay what you want” admission policy.
The large crowd nearly got the start they were hoping for. Dead ball specialist, Dan Naylor, rattled the visitor’s crossbar with a curling free kick on 17 minutes. However, Dunstable struggled to impose any degree of authority on the game with the Crawley Green centre halves winning the ariel battles.
Just before the half hour the Clarets took the lead through Jordan Mongey following good work by Luke Andrews.
Although Dunstable pressed for an equalizer, Mark Blower in the Claret’s goal was not to be beaten and did well to get down to a shot from Kelvin Osei-Addo.
Dunstable made an early change in the second half with top goalscorer, Joe Sellers-West replacing Jack Percy.
Sellers-West has been a big player for the Blues this season, scoring 11 goals in 22 games. Injury meant he’s missed the last 6 games and how the home fans hoped his return to the fray would end the scoring drought of goals from open play.
That will have to wait for another day. Warhorse Dan Trif replaced Dan Naylor but Crawley extended their lead further on 70 minutes with a header from Matthieu Rancine. Seven minutes later and the away side sealed the win with a goal from Dario Borval.
A consolation goal from Benji Crilley on 82 minutes from a corner was all the Blues could muster in an insipid second half performance.
Deputy Mayor, Liz Jones, acting in a private capacity, was the Match Sponsor and made Ethan Creary her Dunstable Town man of the Match for his all-round performance.
Dunstable can now shake themselves down, re-group and look to make amends when they take on Ardley Utd in the Quarter Finals of the Premier Division Cup on Thursday night at Creasey Park. Kick off is at 7.45 pm and normal admission prices apply. On Saturday they travel to the same Club to play their final League game of the season.